East falls to West in annual “Battle of the Boot” matchup


Lucas Tang

The Cougars are unable to defeat the Lions for the 10th consecutive season.

Despite the losing seasons for the past 10 years, the East football team always looks forward to their annual matchup versus West. This year’s team has a chance to finish with a winning record, which gave the team confidence that they could finally end the long losing streak against their rivals. However, tradition would prevail as the Lions dominated the Cougars with a commanding 54-13 win on Saturday morning.

West was able to take control of the game from the start. After a touchback on the opening kickoff, the Lions started their drive at their own 20-yard line. Before the first snap of the game, West had the ball moved up to the 30-yard line because of back-to-back offsides calls against the Cougars. Then, on the first play from scrimmage, West running back Gary Rowe (‘23) ran for a 70-yard touchdown. After a quick three and out by the Cougars’ offense, Rowe caught a screen pass on the next drive for a 41-yard touchdown. Within five minutes, the Lions were already up by two scores and quickly took the Cougars crowd out of the game.

East had a great scoring chance on their next offensive drive. Quarterback Ben Cohen (‘24) took the snap and threw a backward pass to Ethan Haddock (‘23) for a flea-flicker. Haddock launched the ball downfield but the pass was dropped which would have resulted in a wide-open touchdown. The Cougars were never able to recover as West quickly scored two more touchdowns and suddenly, East trailed 28-0 with the first half yet to end.

One of the bright spots of the game was Justin Herskowitz (‘23). With the Cougars looking for anything to finally go their way, Herskowitz caught a 67-yard pass from Cohen which set up a goal-to-go situation. A few plays later, Denzel Lee (‘25) was able to rush the ball into the endzone for the Cougars’ first score of the game. After one more touchdown for West, the Lions were up 35-7 at the half.

The only other touchdown for the Cougars came with 13 seconds left in the game. Cohen was able to fire a strike to tight end Jaxson Bowman (‘25) for a 32-yard score. The clock then expired and the Cougars once again walked off with disappointment. 

Overall, the Cougars’ defense had trouble containing the edges. Anytime West would run a jet sweep, counter, toss, or screen play, it would result in a big gain every time, and many times resulted in a touchdown. In the future, the Cougars will need to force the offense to rush the ball up the middle and utilize their big defensive line to their advantage.

Rowe was able to finish the game with 252 total yards and three total touchdowns. For the Cougars, Cohen finished 7/15 with 111 yards and a touchdown.

The Cougars will continue their season next Saturday on the road against Haddon Township.